Monday, February 05, 2007


The way which can be uttered, is not the eternal Way. The name which can be named, is not the eternal Name.

Remember all of those crazy totemic things i was working on last spring or so?

I worked up a new one using my newish super-laborious inking style as inspired by R. Crumb, Basil Wolverton & Ed Roth. It was fun.

I've also been reading a good visually oriented book on Taoism from 1973. I've learned that jade is congealed dragon semen. I've never really liked jade, but now i do. I also got to thinking about the difference between European dragons & Chinese dragons, in that European dragons are evil & stupid, while Chinese dragons are wise & good luck. I'm teaching a class called "Drawing Monsters, Dragons & Dinosaurs" on saturday mornings, this last saturday we covered dragons. One kid made his dragon breath alphabet blocks, which was quite strange but worked out. I've had very strong Taoist leanings since 1998, but i haven't really discussed it with anyone. Having also studied alchemy, it is pretty apparent that Taoism contains, among other things, Chinese Alchemy, with just about the same ideas operating within. Although, i like Taoism more because it is a very rich & varied way of looking at the world.

If you're like me, Europe has alot of attraction, but also, it is pretty disappointing. The race towards power & seemingly endless war has left the entire culture quite empty & distorted. Add to that the ravages of Imperial Catholicism & then life-denying Protestantism. As an American with European ancestry i find myself looking to Europe for cues, as America is quite empty & distorted as well, but there's not alot there for me. Once again, i find myself snipping little bits from here & there... but that's not enough. There is nothing like the greater culture, all breathing together & having something common to build from. Once again i find myself at that scary point where i want to take those first steps, to pioneer this new thing... but it is quite nerve wracking.


Luke P. said...

I'm not sure if Europe really stands out in terms of number of wars fought, or number of pople killed in battle when compared to Asia, Africa, etc. It's all about the same , in my opinion; parasitic power-mongers manufacture a crisis and rally their population through fear and other manipulations into fighting wars that only benifit them.
Glad to hear about all this from you though.It's really interesting.

Goblinko said...

That sounds about right Luke, i suppose it's the familiarity with Europe that changes my perspective. I've been thinking alot about the idea of "home"... it is kind of defining my current thinking.

aeron said...

Wish I could have taken a class like that when I was a kid! Yeah the whole European style of monsters, particularly the grotesque art style, the northern European artists, all that woodcut imagery of strange looking demons really inspires me. I need to make a pilgrimage someday and tour a lot of places that house much of that stuff.

And I dig the totem style of that drawing. Gives me an idea of a series of drawings that you could stack one on top of the other to function like a rearrangable totem drawing.

aeron said...

Also, that kg tracker I mentioned has a great BBC4 documentary of the Northern Renaissance from this year. It's a three part series that focuses on Durer, Hieronymus Bosch, Brueghel and others. I highly recommend checking it out.